Sunday 11:00 am: Girlie 1 is crying because Girlie 2 is wearing a dress and she wants to wear one too. She no longer likes the cardigan she put on earlier. In fact, it seems she now hates it. Girlie 2 is crying because she wants to sleep..


The first birthday party is done

And what a disturbing experience it was. First time that is, organising a birthday party in our cramped apartment.

There are a number of lessons to be learned, three to be precise.

Number one: you must lock the door to your apartment and take the key out the door. Otherwise the little ones try to escape. Where they think might have been going, I had no clue.

Number two: remember who not to invite next time. One naughty little rotter can throw the whole thing in jeopardy. This little one threw everything out the child size cloth play house, emptied its contents, removed the spokes holding it up and started whipping another little boy. Just lovely. I was puzzled by how he could be so naughty as his mother is just so nice. I may even consider not inviting any boys whatsoever next year.

Number three: organise enough games so they have no time to bat the eye that is their mind and digress into mayhem. We made the schoolboy error of inviting children from 2 to 5 p.m. and four planned games is simply not enough.

All in all though our four year old girlie had a whale of a time..


“No I’ll get it.”
“Are you sure?! I have some change here.” She fumbles around in her coin purse. There’s plenty of change in there. A 2 euro coin gets pushed about in a confined space but it is not leaving the purse. The bank card goes slowly from his wallet into the machine, he slowly punches in his code. Still a bit of fumbling going on in the coin purse. Beep, paid. Takes the card out. Coffee for both. Some small change saved.

The lift part deux

I am in the lift once again. Some company enters the lift and I get a polite, non-eye contact good morning. Ruffles the papers in her hand, shuffles her skirt down a bit. Yeah I thought it was a bit too high too. Now time to flip the cover off her phone, then scrolls through the various screens.

That’s right, lady. I can see you checking what your mates are doing on facebook. Since you left the house this morning, they are doing exactly what they were doing then.

The lift doors slide open. A cursory and pointless nod, a ‘bonne journée’.

Lord of the Flies

As a child I never remember frantically throwing sand into the exit of a tube slide, waiting for a victim to arrive at the bottom. I watch on as a ‘responsible’ parent tells ’em they could get sand in someone’s eyes. Elsewhere, two boys are are burying a third in the sand with his very consent. The only thing separating this from Lord of the Flies is the presence of adults. The boy emerges from the sand caked in sand. How lovely for his parents. Meanwhile my daughter throws sand at me because, “you’re a boy, papa. I’m a girl…”

The lift: 33 and a third

Our destination control management lift is a temperamental bird. Enter a double-digit floor number too quickly and it comes back with double question mark. Entering a single digit floor must be done with a convincing push so you receive a short, single beep. Enter a single digit floor with a less convincing push of the button will mean two sharp beeps are returned with a double questions on the little LCD screen. The dumb lift thinks you are trying to enter a double-digit floor but without the desired gusto. If you wanna get to your office, do it with some enthusiasm, otherwise you can just stay here in the atrium! After a while you get used to this nonsense and you learn how to stroke the bird in the right way.

One day, you see another worker ant push the button hastily just after you. At you first you feel like turning around and saying, “What the f*ck are you doing, stupid bitch!? That’s not how you’re meant to use a destination control lift.” Ok, let the angry man inside calm down. It’s just a lift journey. You see the double question marks and hear the two sharp beeps. Our fellow worker ant heads to the other keypad to try her luck there, looking straight at the floor. Not even an apology for making me have to enter my floor again.